Lithium batteries have become the leading power source for cell phones and other mobile devices because of their ability re-charge and carry nearly double the voltage that traditional batteries such as alkaline or zinc-carbon batteries do. They do posses hazards when not properly used or disposed of.
Fire and explosion is a serious risk when lithium batteries overheat. This is especially problematic when transporting entire shipments of batteries.
Those batteries found on mobile devices such as laptops or cell phones can run extremely hot and burn skin on contact.
Because of their small size with high voltage capacity, lithium batteries can discharge extremely high currents if they short-circuit. The result is a shock that can be as effective as a stun gun.
When these batteries are charged too fast or overcharged, the pose greater risks. This accelerates possible failure in the anodes within the cells or the charger could combust.
At the core of the lithium battery is it's chemical composition that induces high current charges. If for any reason the casing is breached, a chemical burn is highly likely.